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Burkina Faso News Alert

Sahel region: Increased terrorist threat against Westerners

Increased terrorist threat against Westerners in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso during last days of Ramadan; be particularly vigilant

08 Jun 12:56 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/8/2018, 12:00 AM until 6/15/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Niamey). COUNTRY/REGION Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso

Event

There is an increased terrorist threat amid the last days of Ramadan - scheduled to end between June 14 and June 16 depending on the country - in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The risk is especially significant on the Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr), which, according to the Muslim calendar, is expected to happen overnight June 9-10, June 11-12, or June 13-14.  Attacks by Islamist terrorist organizations - such as the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), among others - targeting Western companies, assets, and personnel are possible in the coming days. Heightened security measures and continued military and counterterrorism operations are to be anticipated in the abovementionned countries. 

Context

Terrorism has become an increasingly serious security threat in the Sahel region. JNIM and ISGS operate between Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

The Night of Decree falls during the last ten days of Ramadan, typically on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th day of the month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar. The night is considered blessed for all Muslims.

Advice

Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the region, individuals are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.

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